On Friday, September 28th, the Age Well Community Council of Danbury held their first ever community-wide Summit to identify and discuss best practices for streamlining long-term services and supports and to promote healthy aging and strong connections in Greater Danbury. To see photos from the event, please check out our Events Gallery.
Connection. Collaboration. Community
With the important theme of “Connection. Collaboration. Community.”, the Council brought together residents and leaders from Danbury area businesses, hospitals, assisted living facilities, physician groups, community groups, libraries, faith groups, and senior centers to discuss healthy aging and the pertinent issues facing the older population in Western CT. A key goal was to create connections and start a meaningful conversation between statewide efforts and local initiatives that provide resources and information that promote healthy aging. In doing so, the Council hopes to begin formulating a plan for the people in Danbury and in Western CT to “Age Well.”
The Summit began with opening remarks from Beth Ann Fetzer, Vice President and Community Development Officer at the Savings Bank of Danbury, a key Age Well CT supporter. The Honorable Dianne Yamin, Judge of Probate for the City of Danbury and Co-Chair of the Age Well Community Council spoke about the Council’s mission to create a community where people can age in ways that are relevant, healthy, and meaningful.
Also discussed were the established services and programs that have been immensely beneficial and have served as a guiding light for older adults, caregivers and families in the Greater Danbury Area. After they concluded their remarks, Sherry Ostrout, Director of Government Initiatives for Connecticut Community Care, spoke about the demographics of Danbury and how the Age Well Community Council and its efforts to try to create connections, gather, inform, influence, and collaborate in order to help those in Western CT to get the services they need.
A video interview was presented highlighting volunteer work by Paul Trudel, member of Elmwood Hall, Danbury Senior Center.
Dawn Lambert, Co-Leader of the Community Options Unit in the Division of Health Services for the CT Department of Social Services gave an informative presentation about state priorities. She shared an overview of the trajectory of health care, home care, and other senior services in CT and discussed how policies at the federal and state level are impacting older adults in local communities.
Implementing Best Practice on a Local Level
Robert J. Carr M.D., Vice President of Clinical Transformation at the Western CT Health Network, presented an overview of his work with the Accountable Health Communities Program. This innovative program aims to address the health-related social needs of Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries and works toward closing the gap between clinical care and community services in the current health care system.
Appreciative Inquiry Workshop
Heidi Gil of HoodenPyleGil led attendees in a group collaboration break out session. Using the model of Appreciative Inquiry, Heidi asked the individual break out groups to reflect on the current strengths, capabilities, and assets that exist in Danbury to age well. Then, she asked the groups what can and should be done to improve the services and programs in Danbury. To end the group discussions, Heidi let each group in developing a “call to action” or a plan that not only addressed the needs of the community right now, but also projected into the future.
The Summit concluded with the commitment to finding ways to carry out the calls to action that were created during the group breakout sessions and ensuring more opportunities for the community to come together and discuss pathways to promote healthy aging. Ultimately, the Age Well Community Council wanted the Summit to be a place where the community could connect their strengths, capabilities, and collective assets to deepen collaboration and advance aging in ways that are relevant, healthy, and meaningful to individuals, cultures, and the Greater Danbury Community.
The Age Well Community Council is grateful to the following supporters who made this event possible:
About the Age Well Community Council
The Age Well Community Council is a unique collaboration of representatives from government, business, philanthropy, nonprofit and other community organizations dedicated to a community where people can age (and care for others who are aging) in ways that are relevant, healthy and meaningful to individuals, cultures and the larger community.